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Teach Us to Pray - Lent 2019

Teach Us to Pray - Lent 2019

Mar 2019 - Apr 2019
Sermons in this series
  Date: Sunday, April 21, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 11 mins 44 secs    
Passage: Luke 24:1-12    
  Description: For the rest of the world, I suspect the first day of the week after the crucifixion of Jesus unfolded normally. The sun came up. The Roman government continued to rule, perhaps relieved that any remaining followers of Jesus were dispersed and the movement fractured. There was after all a certain price for pax romana so that the status quo could remain intact. Life carried on… Except… according to the gospel of Luke, a mystery was unfolding, dismissed at first as an idle tale until, the facts were confirmed by more than one observation that the tomb where they laid Jesus was empty. These reports were confirmed. The body of Jesus was not there and instead two men in dazzling white clothes stood by the tomb and rather flatly asked why Mary, Johanna and Mary Magdalene were looking for Jesus among the dead. He is not here, said the ones in dazzling white. He is risen. “Remember how he told you that, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words. (Lk.24: 6-8)
  Date: Sunday, April 07, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 19 mins 53 secs    
  Description: One of the greatest misconceptions that we human beings face, is the illusion that we are in control of everything. We can be pretty good at sustaining that illusion especially if we have money, power and privilege because those things buffer us against the otherwise harsh reality that we are subject to forces greater than us, like weather and mortality, random acts of violence, tragedy of any form, or the uninvited presence of malintent or evil. When any one of these things strike our illusory sense that we can control anything, we are thrown into crisis. We are fraught with trying to make sense out of why bad things happen to good people. Why did disaster hit my house, when I’m a good person and I pray everyday? Why didn’t God protect me from chaos and ruin? Suddenly all the buffers that we have installed to keep us and our existence safe, fail. And we are at a loss.
  Date: Sunday, March 31, 2019       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 20 mins 8 secs    
  Description: Are any among you suffering? You should pray. Are any of you cheerful? You should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? You should call others in the church to pray for you, and to anoint you with oil in the name of Jesus. For the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up to their feet, and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. So confess your sins and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayers of the faithful are powerful and effective. So writes a follower of Jesus, named James, to the scattered Christian communities. And I’m all with James on the three questions he asks, “Are any among you suffering? Are any of you cheerful? Are any among you sick? But with his next phrases my own questions start coming fast and furious. James states clearly and emphatically that the prayer of faithful will heal the sick and get them walking again, promising that the prayers of the faithful are powerful and effective. Which leaves us in a bit of a quandary, because we all know times when we have prayed for healing for ourselves or a loved one, and it hasn’t happened. This is the kind of scripture passage that it is sometimes more comfortable to avoid, or to shorten – only reading the parts we easily agree with. But that isn’t fair to scripture. We have to decide if we are reading the Bible literally or taking it seriously, rather than avoiding what we aren’t sure about.
  Date: Sunday, March 24, 2019       Teacher: Revs. Susan/David     Duration: 10 mins 8 secs    
Passage: Luke 11:1-9    
  Description: Rev. Susan & Rev David have an interactive conversation using the Lord's Prayer. This is a slight adaptation of a script that is found in various places on the internet, with many different authors taking credit for it.
  Date: Sunday, March 17, 2019       Teacher: Rev. David L.S. Robertson     Duration: 18 mins 41 secs    
  Description: You are what you pray. According to our HRUC prayer guide, half our plate should have equal portions of “help” and “thanks” while the other half is a full portion of “wow”. Help, Thanks, Wow! For a healthy prayer diet, these are the portions our prayer guide suggests. And this is how we invite you to imagine your prayer diet through our season of Lent and certainly, beyond. One of the best ways to explore what a healthy prayer diet would look like is to delve into the Psalms. The Psalms really are the prayer book of the Bible. The writers of the Psalms are always what they pray. And as a whole, the collection of Psalms demonstrates the prayer guide beautifully with the right portions of help, thanks and wow. Today we have two Psalms back to back that help us see our prayer guide at work. Psalm 28 has equal portions of help and thanks. Psalm 29 is all about wow. Psalm 28 begins with words of help and supplication. The words are so profoundly human as the Psalmists hands are outstretched and lifted up, open to the healing and comfort of God. The psalmist prays to be spared the pit of silence and separation from the voice of God and to be reunited with God’s assuring presence where God’s loving voice can be heard. We’ve all been in this place. We’ve all prayed our supplications for God’s help within the sound of God’s voice. We’ve all experienced the desperation, the silence, and the pain of suffering. We take all that is inside us and externalize it into prayers of help. This is where most of our prayers begin. We have perhaps, no where else to turn, except to voice a prayer-filled SOS.
  Date: Sunday, March 10, 2019       Teacher: Rev. Susan Lukey     Duration: 13 mins 5 secs    
  Description: I remember as a child kneeling by the side of my bed to pray. I don’t remember what I prayed, but I remember sometimes falling asleep as I knelt there, letting my head sink down into the comfort of both the bed and the prayers. What is prayer? What does it mean to pray? Why did Jesus go off by himself so often to pray? How do we pray? Those are the topics that we’ll be exploring through the season of Lent. And that’s what got me thinking about my childhood prayers. I remember them as comforting – prayer cradled me as a child, and it still does. Martin Luther, who began the Protestant reformation, was a person of prayer. I love the two quotes from him that are printed in the bulletin: To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. Martin Luther I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer. Martin Luther Now I can’t say that I spend the first three hours of my day in prayer, but I know what he means – to be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. Prayer is what shapes us as Christians. Prayer is what gives us our energy, our vision, and our hope as followers of Jesus. Prayer is what enables us to live the Way that Jesus taught. It is central to our daily life.

 

 


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